Minister Nkoana-Mashabane consults with Organised Labour on COP17/CMP7

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane today, 29 August 2011, hosted a meeting with representatives of organised labour in Pretoria as part of consultations ahead of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, taking place in Durban from 28 November to 09 December 2011.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane hosted the consultative meeting with representatives of organised labour in her capacity as incoming President of COP17/CMP7. The meeting is one is a series of consultations with various other stakeholder groupings.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane told the meeting that: “The effects of climate change, which to a great extent are already inevitable, will impact most severely on developing countries, particularly in Africa. It is predicted that climate change will cause an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, which in turn will negatively affect Africa’s food security.

“We have to continue on a new low carbon growth path, in such a way that we advance economic growth and the creation of jobs. It is essential that these adjustments to our economies be managed in a way that is fair and provides new opportunities for skills development and employment.

“The fact that the conference is taking place in Africa must inspire the community of nations to deliver a positive outcome for the African people – an outcome that will help this continent deal with the problem of climate change.”

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane further said: “It is my duty as President of the conference to spare no effort to make sure those Parties to the Convention find common ground and that they are able to agree on an outcome that is fair, transparent and credible. This is the mandate given to me by the Parties. It is therefore my responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the process is preserved.”

The Minister also told the meeting that all logistical arrangements for hosting the conference are on track and progressing well. “We are on top of all aspects of what goes into organising an event of this magnitude – from accommodation and venue preparation, to security and protocol support. We therefore look forward to proudly show-casing the beautiful city of Durban and to welcome up to 20 000 delegates from all 194 countries.”

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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29 August 2011

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